Cruising to Belize is sure to be an amazing experience in itself, where snorkeling, diving, soft sand beaches, lively culture and memorable adventures await you. Naturally, you may want to bring home some souvenirs to remember your vacation.
When shopping in Belize, you’ll find lots of items made locally. As the second smallest country in Central America, you will be surprised by how big the variety of handcrafts and foods you have to choose from. You’ll have no problem finding gifts for your loved ones as well as treats for yourself.
If you’re wondering what to buy in Belize, you’re in the right place. To help you find that perfect memory or keepsake from your trip, here is our list of top 11 things to buy in Belize.
1. Belizean Chocolate
There is lots of cacao grown in Belize — in fact, the country is known for it. Cacao is very special to Mayan culture and as a result, Belizeans make some of the most delicious chocolate. Chocolate is available in many flavors at local shops. In some cases, you can even see the production process before you buy a few delectable bars of your beloved chocolate.
2. Mayan Basket
Basket weaving is a longtime tradition of the Mayans, who have lived in the area for over 3,000 years. A handwoven basket is a great way to support local artisans and take home a piece of authentic Belize. Give your home a special touch with one of the many unique basket patterns you can find in local markets.
Rum is a popular and plentiful product in Belize. You will find lots of varieties and flavors of sweet, delicious rum made right in Belize. Why not sample a few while you’re enjoying the sunny beaches, and then pick up a bottle or two of your favorite kind? If you’re not traveling with more than a few bottles, you can bring your rum back duty-free.
If you’re not a big drinker, don’t worry! You can still enjoy the local commodity by taking home a delicious rum cake.
4. Hot Sauce
Although not all food in Belize is spicy, habanero and jalapeno peppers are grown widely there, so you’ll find plenty of hot sauce to go alongside your meal. Take home a bottle for yourself as well as a few for your spice-loving friends. Hot sauce made from habanero is the most well-known variety, but you’ll find other types as well.
5. Locally Grown Coffee
Whether you enjoy a cup every once in a while or you’re a certified caffeine aficionado, you’ll find lots of rich locally grown coffee to bring back from your Belize cruise. Coffee grown in Belize is enjoyed around the world, and you’ll be happy knowing you got it right from the source.
6. Conch Jewelry
Not only a delicious dinner option, conch is used for jewelry thanks to the pleasant pink color of its shell. You can find pretty hairpins, bracelets, earrings and more carved out of polished conch shell. Or, you can buy a whole cleaned and preserved shell, which makes a great decor item.
7. Wooden Kitchenware
In Belize you’ll find lots of bowls, spoons, cutting boards and other kitchen accessories carved out of ziricote, a rare but hardy tree species growing in only a small portion of Central America. This special hardwood is beautiful, with marbled patches of light and dark, and you won’t find it in many other places. Thus, it’s a truly special souvenir to bring home from a trip to Belize.
8. Wood or Slate Carvings
Ziricote is also used to create wonderfully artistic carvings depicting sea life, ancient ceremonial sites, masks and symbols of nature. Other woods and slate are also used. These keepsakes are hand carved and make a great decoration for your outdoor deck or any wall, and they also make great gifts. A wood or slate carving will surely be a great reminder of the culture you experience in Belize.
9. Local Music
The music of Belize is bright and rich, with a mix of Creole, Mestizo, Mayan and African influences. Whether your preference is traditional or modern, you’ll have plenty of styles at your fingertips, from Garifuna or Mayan to Punta and reggaeton. No matter what you choose, you’ll feel the aura of Belize wash over you with each listen. Not to mention you’ll support local musicians when you purchase a CD or even a Garifuna drum, available in many gift shops.
Enjoy a tropical rum cocktail while swinging in your hammock at home, and you will be transported back to Belize any time you want! Hammocks are a great way to relax on a breezy day. Plus, they add color to your backyard or patio.
11. Beer and Beer Souvenirs
Beer brewing is an institution in Belize, and you’ll more than likely savor a few ice-cold beers while enjoying your vacation cruise. While you may choose to travel back home with a few bottles of golden Belizean beer, it may be easier to bring a few memories home in the form of a branded T-shirt, beer glass, koozie or tote bag. A branded souvenir becomes a portable and useful memory of your awesome journey — not to mention a great conversation starter.